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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

5 Thanksgiving Day Hacks

5 Thanksgiving Day Hacks [Infographic]

5ThanksgivingDayHacks

This blog was written by Tony Maloney, Health Fitness Specialist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: exercise calories holidays weight management workout goals Thanksgiving

Smart Snacking for Healthy Eating and Weight Management

184366974Some people think that snacking can sabotage your healthy eating and weight management plan. However, snacking keeps your energy levels up, and prevents you from becoming overly hungry, which can lead to poor food choices. Eating every three to four hours can also help regulate your metabolism, which ensures that you burn calories throughout the day. Strive for at least two small snacks per day, but try to limit yourself to 100 to 150 calories or less per snack.

Also, be sure your snack is balanced: it should offer complex carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building and repair, and a small amount of fat for satiety. You can ensure nutritional balance and prevent snack boredom by varying your daily choices.

The Benefits of Snacks

You may feel guilty about snacking, but snacks aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, mini meals several times a day can be beneficial. Here’s how:

  • Binge control: If eating several low-fat, whole-grain crackers, a few pretzels, a piece of fruit, or some raw vegetables keeps you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal, you may actually consume fewer total calories for the day.
  • Extra energy and nutrients: Traditional, made-at-home meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go snack can be the difference between some nourishment and none at all.
  • Satisfaction for small appetites: Young children’s tiny stomachs can hold only small portions of food at a time. Older adults who are less active and who burn fewer calories also may feel comfortable eating smaller meals more frequently.

Healthy Snack Choices

Here are some great snack choices:

  • 6 oz. fat-free yogurt topped with 1 cup of berries
  • ¾ cup whole-grain cereal with nut and dried-fruit trail mix
  • 1 apple and 1 oz. low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup yogurt smoothie made with real fruit
  • 1 oz. baked tortilla chips with ¼ cup bean dip
  • 2 oz. low-fat cheese on 5 whole-grain crackers
  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla with 1 oz. melted cheese and ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 cup raw vegetables and 2 Tbsp. low-fat dip or hummus
  • 1 Tbsp. nut butter on a banana
  • 1 cup berries topped with ¼ cup low-fat granola cereal
  • ¼ cup whole-grain cereal and ¼ cup raisins with ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¾ cup pasta salad made with raw veggies, cheese, and low-fat dressing
  • ¼ pita pocket stuffed with raw vegetables and 1 slice low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat vegetable-bean soup
  • ½ turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • 1 handful almonds and ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup cottage cheese and ½ cup pineapple
  • ½ peanut butter/banana sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • ½ toasted whole wheat English muffin topped with a slice of tomato and low-fat cheese

For more tips on eating well and feeling great, especially after age 40, check out this post.

If you are interested in having your questions answered during a personal nutrition consultation, please contact me at ascheetz@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239. Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

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Topics: nutrition weight loss snacks metabolism weight management

Staying Focused on Your Fitness Goals For the Rest of 2014

It is that time of year again…the holidays are coming up fast! Life gets extra chaotic for many of us this time of year, and good fitness and nutrition habits are at a high risk of slipping.

The good news is that NIFS is here to help you keep from slipping too far down this slippery slope during the holiday season! We are happy to offer two different programs that are FREE to all NIFS members during the months of November and December year after year.

Maintain Not Gain MaintainGainLogo

Give yourself a little bit of extra accountability by signing up for Maintain Not Gain. This program incentivizes members to maintain their weight throughout the holiday season. With group workouts every two weeks, weekly emails packed with nutrition and fitness tips to keep you engaged, and prizes for those who maintain or lose weight during the duration of the program. There is something that everyone can benefit from by signing up for this free program. Don’t miss out on this experience and mark weigh-in week on your calendar for November 1 to 7.

The Rowing Challenge

All in good fun, the rowing challenge never disappoints for a good competition year after year! It is pretty simple: pick a team and ROW! The team that rows the most meters per person and the team with the highest total meters rowed earns bragging rights as team winners. Joining a team is an excellent way to ensure you are getting in some extra bouts of cardio and caloric burn during the busiest time of the holiday season, which means you are earning yourself some leeway to have a little more room to indulge. Your team will be depending on you to row towards the win!

Look to sign up for a team November 10 to 23.

Free Fitness Assessment

Along with both of these programs, this is a great time of year to take advantage of your free fitness assessment and exercise plan from our team of Health Fitness Specialists. If you are looking for a new routine or just need a little more guidance we're here to help you.

Free Fitness Assessment

Don’t let the holiday season get the best of you this year. Your fitness and nutrition habits do not have to completely derail. Let NIFS help you find the right balance between fitness, food and fun this year!

 

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, NIFS Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: cardio calories holidays NIFS programs weight management

5 Tips for Healthy Living in College

184813283Nothing can replace my four years at Butler University. I made sure to enjoy myself and my friends, try new things, and study hard, so I know what a juggling act college can be. With so many organizations to be part of, parties to attend, events to host, and exams to ace, there are a lot of things on your college plate and it’s easy to put your health and wellness on the back burner.

Instead of just eating a couple of pieces of boring lettuce from the salad bar during meal time and missing out on a social life, I used a few simple tricks to keep the freshman 15 weight gain from creeping up on me.

1. Focus on making the best choice in each moment, not on being perfect.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about living a healthy life, but being healthy isn’t about exercising all the time and eating only nutritious foods. Being healthy is about being balanced and being happy with your life. There will be times when all of your friends want to go out for ice cream, skip a workout, or do something that may not be in your “healthy-living plan,” and that’s okay. One of the biggest lessons I learned in college was to go with the flow, make the healthiest choice for my body and mind in that moment, and enjoy every second of every day.

2. Stock the mini fridge.

Having a mini fridge was one of the smartest things I could have done during my college career. I made sure to stock it with fresh vegetables and hummus for snacking, fruit for breakfast, and almond milk to put in my coffee. Some easy dorm-room snack essentials to have on hand (even without the mini fridge):

  • Chopped carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower (I would chop this up at my parents’ house and bring it to the dorm with me!)123097912
  • Hummus
  • Nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, and sunflower seeds are my favorite!)
  • Dried fruit
  • Natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • Portioned-out baggies of oats

3. Get involved in your campus fitness center with programs like First Year Fit.

The fitness center was where I spent my “me” time while I was in college. I loved experimenting with new classes, meeting people, and getting high on endorphins! Many campus fitness centers (NIFS included!) are hosting incentive programs to encourage new students to become gym members, try new classes, and get fitness into their weekly routine. The staff wants to help you get into your healthy living groove, so don’t hesitate to ask questions—that’s what they are there for.

4. Take the fruit.

Most campus dining halls have a bin of fresh produce that usually includes apples, bananas, and oranges. While I was in college, the dining hall staff really didn’t encourage removing foods from the dining hall, but grabbing a piece of fruit to go was okay. I always made sure to take one or two pieces to have on hand, in my bag, and ready to go as soon as hunger struck so that I had a healthy option to keep me focused and fueled through the afternoon. My tip is this: Always take a piece of fruit, even if you aren’t hungry at that moment and don’t want to eat it right then. Fruit can keep for up to two weeks without being refrigerated, and having that fruit nearby will give you an instant (and free!) snack to tide you over until mealtime.

5. Inspiration on YouTube

It’s not always easy to get to the gym, and when there is time to get there sometimes it’s hard to decide what equipment to use and what workout you want to do. This is where YouTube comes into play. I love following fitness professionals, healthy living bloggers, and my fitness center on YouTube for easy-to-follow workouts and motivation. Some of my favorites are NIFSindy, Jennifer DeCurtins of Peanut Butter Runner, and Livestrong.

NIFS 1st Year Fit program was designed to help keep students on a healthy track as you start a new chapter in your college career. This is a completely free program for IUPUI students who are NIFS members.

Get started today!

This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, contributing writer, group fitness instructor, and author of healthy living blog Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: exercise nutrition healthy habits fitness center healthy eating weight management education

The Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt—Plus Recipes!

There are a lot of hot new food fads right now, including coconut oil, kale, quinoa, and chia seeds. It seems like I have been seeing these foods everywhere, and while I do love them, I have been obsessing over another food fad for a while. Greek yogurt is one of those amazing foods that can be used in so many ways and is extremely good for you.

Why You Should Eat More Greek Yogurtgreek-yogurt

Here are the reasons why Greek yogurt can help with your healthy eating goals:

  • It is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, zinc, protein, and vitamins B6 and B12.
  • It contains probiotic cultures, which can help with gut regularity.
  • It's lower in lactose for those who have trouble digesting other dairy products.
  • Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein as normal yogurt, which can help keep you full longer and makes an impact on your weight management.
  • It has half the amount of sodium regular yogurt has, which is a plus for those watching blood pressure.
  • It can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory treat!

Recipes

Here are some recipes that can help you incorporate this super food into your meals and snacks.

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

If you want to start your day with a protein-packed punch and also get to work on time, here is a quick and healthy breakfast smoothie incorporating Greek yogurt that can help you start the day off right!

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Bored with your normal lunch routine? Try this tasty buffalo chicken salad that has tons of flavor without all of the fat of traditional chicken salads.

Tzatziki Sauce

Stumped as to what to fix for dinner? This delicious topping for chicken, fish, or lamb is a quick and easy solution!

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip

Need to have that sweet ending after dinner? Try this alternative as a healthy treat! It's also a great midday snack.

I hope you try this tasty treat! Watch out for some varieties on the market that can be extremely high in sugar, calories, and fat. Look for a nonfat version to keep your saturated fat grams lower, and consider buying plain and flavor it yourself with fruit and flavored extracts to decrease the added sugar. The possibilities are endless!

Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, NIFS Registered Dietitian. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes snacks calories lunch breakfast weight management

SLIM IT TO WIN IT: Crystal’s Team

Greetings everyone! Slim It thus far has been an exciting experience for me and for both of my teams! I have been blessed with having not only one but two teams due to the high number of requests from individuals wanting to join this year. I will highlight my Monday and Friday team this week. Be sure to look out for my blog about my Tuesday and Thursday team in the near future.Slim It

My M/F team is doing a great job with the exercises that I have been giving them and familiarizing themselves with the structure of our workouts. A few of them have worked with me before in previous programs or through personal training. It is nice to see familiar faces and at the same time getting to know other members. They have adapted well to other trainers and continued to attend those sessions. Many have experienced soreness, which is common during the beginning weeks of a new program. We are currently thinking of a team name and plan to have one by the end of our third week.

The weather hasn’t been cooperating as much as we’d like; therefore, some members were unable to come in. Overall, the program has been challenging in many ways and I plan to continue to motivate them to incorporate a healthier lifestyle and to reach their Slim It goals!

Here’s an interview with one of my team members:

1. Share your story or a bit about yourself in a few sentences:

My name is Jenna Looney. I am 29 years old and have lived in downtown Indy for 1 year. I was a special education teacher and I recently switched to the field of educational technology. In this role I am far less mobile and active at work, but I LOVE the job. I miss the interactions with kids and being active throughout the day. I love travel, Mexican food, reading, being outside, the Pacers, rehabbing furniture, music, dancing, and overall FUN!

I have watched the scale go up and down over the past 10 years in some pretty dramatic swings. I am looking to find a realistic, healthy, maintainable weight and stick to it. I found I felt too busy for exercise or for healthy eating, but I realize it will only get more complicated and busier if I have a family. I want to get it under control now and stop making excuses. I worked with Crystal for about three months prior to starting Slim It and have had positive and exciting results in combination with diet*. I am also currently in the run-walk group for the NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program.

2. NIFS Programs you’ve participated in:

I am a member at NIFS and participated in the Mini Marathon training last year and am doing it again this year. I also started using personal training sessions.

3. Why did you join this program?Slim It to Win It

I enrolled in Slim It to Win It for three reasons:

  1. Groups motivate me to stay strong and committed.
  2. I could pick to work with Crystal and I felt she would bring a challenge, yet she knows me from training so I am comfortable with asking her questions, etc.
  3. I want to continue to work toward my goals of better health and weight loss—I want to look good by my 30th birthday.

4. Something you’ve enjoyed:

I have been surprised with how exercise really does help relieve soreness—but goodness, it’s hard to force yourself to exercise when you are  incredibly sore from a tough workout.

5. Something you have learned or something that surprised you:

Something I have enjoyed: In my one-on-one sessions with Crystal I have loved (and sort of hated) the metabolic ball throws and slams. I love them because I feel the burn and my heart races, so that also makes me hate them. But ultimately I know these bring results, so I love them.

We have incorporated a variation of these metabolic exercises already in our group training and I look forward to more—oh gosh! I cannot believe I just typed that!

6. Favorite exercise from one of the workouts:

BOSU mountain climbers. I don’t really love these because they feel a tad like push-ups, but I guess I like that I have progressed to be able to use the BOSU in mountain climbers and hold it for extended periods while in the push-up/plank position. I knew I was getting stronger when I could do this because it almost killed me the first time I tried it. I like seeing myself get stronger.

7. What accomplishments you have achieved during your training?

Since starting training with Crystal prior to Slim It, I’ve lost 6.5% body fat, gained 6.9 pounds of lean muscle, and have gone down a rating for body fat in three months*. I am excited to continue to decrease my body fat and see less jiggle and wiggle in my gut.

8. What struggles have you encountered? Tips you have learned along the way?

Challenges: When I’ve had a bad day or have had a great day worth celebrating, I find it hard not to want to go out to eat and eat and drink to celebrate or to make myself feel better. To combat this: If I come to the gym I feel better when I’m done. The biggest battle is making myself go—once I’m in the gym it’s rare that I don’t leave feeling better and fulfilled. I’m not perfect at this, but it’s better than it was...

9. How do you stay motivated?

By not quitting if I slip up in my diet, and pushing through excuses and reasons to skip a workout. Also remaining focused on my next goal, 10 more pounds...

10. Any other thoughts?

I love the staff at NIFS. They’re all awesome. I love Crystal and want to thank her for supporting me and helping me make the progress I have. I’m excited to continue my progress!

Training with a group is a proven strategy for sticking with a workout routine and is more economical than one-on-one training. If you are interested in trying a small group or large group training session contact Tony Maloney today to get started!

*Weight loss claims and/or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.

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This blog was written by Crystal Belen, NIFS Heath Fitness Instructor. Learn more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS weight loss NIFS programs weight management Slim It to Win It

Slim It to Win It Program Returns to NIFS for 2014

Slim It logo

It's time to get ready for the fourth annual NIFS Slim It to Win It program! For those of you who have never participated in Slim It before, or those of you who have loved it so much in the past that you keep coming back, 2014 is your year to use this program to help reach your fat-loss goals, like so many others:

“I was told I had a pre-diabetic condition. The first year I participated in the "Slim It" program I lost 15 pounds and dropped 5 points in the BOD POD. This year I lost another 5 points.”*

***

“Christmas vacation I went a little overboard. I decided it was time to get back to it and get into shape.”

***

“I finally fit into pants I have not worn for 2 years. I also never take naps anymore. It is quite amazing what eating right and working out will do for your self-esteem.”*

***

Slim-It is a 10-week group training program and competition geared toward fat loss. The top team, top male, and top female winners receive a 3 month FREE membership to NIFS!

What Slim It to Win It Includes

The program includes the following:

  • 20 group training sessions at NIFS with a Health Fitness
    Specialist geared toward weight loss
  • Team relay during week five of training
  • Grand Finale with food, fitness, and awards
  • Weekly newsletter with helpful success tips
  • Program t-shirt

A pre- and post- BOD POD test is required for each participant. Along with your pre BOD POD, you will be given a three-day food log to complete prior to your first week of training. Your coach will submit your food log to the Registered Dietician, who will give you some general feedback and tips for success. Along with this, she will contact you once during the duration of the program to check on your progress and answer any of your questions!

Important Dates

Visit the service desk between January 27 and February 6 to sign up for the program this year. There will be eight teams with a maximum of 15 people per team. Spots will fill up fast, so be sure to sign up early! Team training sessions will be twice a week beginning February 10 and ending April 18.

Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy a fun fitness atmosphere with a group of individuals with the same goals as your own!

Visit the NIFS website for more information about all of the upcoming NIFS programs for 2014. We look forward to having you as a part of another successful program this year!

*Weight loss claims and/or individual results vary and are not guaranteed.

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, NIFS Health Fitness Specialist and coordinator of the Slim It to Win It program. Meet our bloggers.

Topics: nutrition motivation weight loss group training NIFS programs weight management

2013 NIFS Programs: A Look Back at Our Year

It is hard to believe that we are wrapping up another year at NIFS! As instructors looking back over the last year, we like to think that the variety of fitness opportunities that we have offered has provided individuals with the tools needed to move forward toward reaching and surpassing their health and fitness goals. Along with the variety of group fitness classes, personal training, group training opportunities, and fitness assessments and personalized exercise programs, we offer additional special programming throughout the year to keep our members on track and motivated!

Mini-Marathon Training ProgramMini Marathon 2014

Every year, One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and other spring half-marathon participants look to NIFS for their training program. NIFS offers a unique program providing pace group leaders for each training group, ranging from a 7-minute run pace, to a run-walk group, to the 16-minute walk group. You will find a group of individuals ready to train for the same goal as you within your group each Wednesday night of the program when you meet for the long run. Participants also receive a snack after they finish their run. With nearly 325 participants and leaders last year, the program proved to be a success and resulted in many happy participants crossing the finish line reaching their goals in the 2013 spring half-marathons.

Slim It logoSlim-It-To-Win-It

Kicking off at the right time, just after the New Year’s resolution rush has worn off and the thick of winter has settled in, NIFS rolls out the Slim-It-To-Win-It 10-week fat-loss team training program, which has proved to be a great motivator for the members to stay on track with their weight-loss goals. This year proved to be a tight competition, with 11 different teams competing for the team title. The aBENger’s claimed the title, losing an average of 2.35% body fat!


Triathlon Training Program
Tri Training logo

As the only program in the city that has been training for the Go Girl Triathlon since the very first race, NIFS spent much of the summer training women of varying abilities to complete the sprint triathlon in August at Eagle Creek Park. Twenty-five very happy women completed the race that day! The program met at NIFS, the IU Natatorium, and Eagle Creek Park on Tuesday nights to complete a weekly group workout with coaches and concluded with a post-workout snack thanks to program sponsor First Watch Daytime Cafe.

Summer Showdown

Always promising to be an excellent fitness challenge, Summer Showdown never disappoints as a challenging test for those looking for an extra push to beat the heat in the height of summer. This past year, participants completed a partner 100 workout at the beginning of the program. After 6 weeks of training two days a week with a team and coach with workouts geared toward improving performance of the challenge, the partners completed the same workout to conclude the program.

Staff Rowing Challenge

A little friendly competition never hurts anyone; it also proves to be very motivating when looking at fitness! That is how we view the annual staff rowing challenge. From November 25 to December 24, members row as many meters as they can for their team. The team that rows the most meters and the team that rows the most meters per person gets bragging rights as team champions. We are currently wrapping up this program, but it has proven to be successful as a motivating fitness competition again this year.

Maintain Not GainMaintainGainLogo

Also currently occurring as a holiday incentive program, Maintain Not Gain proves to be a popular program year in and year out as it encourages fitness and weight maintenance throughout the holiday season. The program includes weekly motivational emails, group workouts, and incentive prizes for those who maintain or lose weight upon completion of the program. With 208 participants completing the 2012–2013 programs, the group lost a total of 208 pounds over the holidays!

Les Mills Launches

Over the past year, the Les Mills classes have become increasingly popular in the fitness center. In January, April, July, and October, Les Mills launches took place in the fitness center to introduce new releases with the goal of injecting energy in the facility and to pump up the members!

NIFS Barbell Club

New this year, Josh Jones headed up the NIFS barbell club in October. The program is great for anyone who is serious about wanting to improve their power-lifting abilities. This session focused on the clean and the snatch. Participants learned the correct way to complete the exercises and saw drastic improvements in their ability to lift like the pros!

Start 2014 off right by getting involved in one of NIFS specialized programs! Mini Marathon training starts Jan 22nd! Get Registered today!

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, Health Fitness Specialist at NIFS. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS fitness center goal setting weight loss group fitness group training mini marathon half marathon NIFS programs challenge Summer Showdown weight management Les Mills

Enjoy Holiday Parties While Maintaining Your Weight

We have all heard the statistic that the average person gains 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This is somewhat exaggerated; the actual number is a 1-pound weight gain. However, this pesky 1 pound usually hangs on year after year, so over 10 holiday seasons that is a 10-pound gain! The goal during this time of year is to maintain your weight, which is definitely a challenge with all of the extra food gatherings.

7 Tips for Holiday Eating

Here are some tips to help survive the holiday parties and make sure
your weight is the same on January 2 as it was on November 28.84468673

  1. Restrict the number of alcoholic drinks at holiday parties. At a minimum it is 100 calories per drink, and depending on what you are choosing, can be as high as 400 (eggnog!). The recommendations are one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Instead of adding all of the empty calories from alcohol, save those calories for filling food!
  2. Have just single servings of your favorite foods. If you are super excited to have a food that comes around only once per year, enjoy every last bite of the single serving, wrap up some and enjoy it the next day, too.
  3. Don’t skip meals to “save room” at the party! This can lead to out-of-control eating. Instead, make sure to have balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, aiming for fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. You can even grab a snack before the party to help with the desperation eating. An apple with peanut butter, Greek yogurt and fruit, or a stick of string cheese with a handful of nuts would be a perfect filling and nutritious snack option.
  4. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and at the party. This can help keep you full; and if your hand is already occupied with a 178360614beverage, it will be more challenging to reach for the food!
  5. Remember that you can have some foods all year long, such as crackers, cheese, and pretzels. Choose the foods that are the most interesting and unique, and come around only once per year. Then frame it positively and say, “I want to save my appetite for the best” instead of “I am not allowed to eat these foods.”
  6. Repeat these words: “No, thanks, on the seconds. It was delicious, but I have had enough.”
  7. Instead of focusing on the food, put effort into enjoying the people and conversations, and really connecting.

Need a little extra help surviving the holidays? NIFS My Nuttrition Coach App, can help you keep track of your diet while receiving daily feedback from our registered dietitian, Angie Scheetz. To learn more click here.

Learn More

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: nutrition motivation healthy eating snacks holidays weight management